Alberta hits brakes on affordable electricity projects

Halting renewable energy will increase electricity rates while costing jobs and revenue for municipalities and landowners

Construction of wind turbine in Alberta

Alberta’s renewable energy industry is a significant part of the Alberta energy sector. Photo: Roberta Franchuk, Pembina Institute

CALGARY — Binnu Jeyakumar, Electricity Director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the Government of Alberta's announcement of a seven-month moratorium on approvals of renewable electricity projects and the government’s intention to develop restrictions impeding renewable energy development in the province:

“The government’s sudden announcement of an unprecedented moratorium on the lowest-cost new electricity available in Alberta puts 91 projects and $25 billion of investments and associated jobs for Albertans and revenues for municipalities at risk. It creates uncertainty around future investments while adding unnecessary red tape to these projects.

“While other provinces with Conservative governments, like Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have created calls for new renewable investments, adding wind and solar to their grids to lower the costs of electricity for consumers, Alberta appears to be heading in the opposite direction. Wind and solar have been proven to reduce energy prices and this announcement will put at risk the affordability of electricity for Albertans.  

“The summer has also shown that fires and smoke are making the growing costs of climate change all too real for Albertans and Canadians. Accelerating the deployment of wind and solar energy in a responsible way is an essential part of the solution to the climate crisis. 

“The Pembina Institute supports the responsible development of natural resources and is supportive of the renewables reclamation requirements that are already in place and of the best practices demonstrated by renewable industry to date. Wind and solar energy developments in Alberta occur on private land with good projects making direct payments to willing landowners and generating substantial tax revenues and economic benefits for rural municipalities.

“Alberta’s renewable energy industry is a significant part of the Alberta energy sector and should not be unnecessarily halted at a time when Alberta urgently needs the lowest cost electricity generation that wind and solar projects provide.”

— Binnu Jeyakumar, Electricity Director, Pembina Institute

Quick facts

  • Since 2019, almost $5 billion has been invested in renewable energy projects in Alberta, generating enough electricity to power more than a million homes. 
  • 91 projects are awaiting or preparing for permitting approval, representing at least $25 billion and over 30,000 job-years, are impacted by this announcement. These projects would be able to power almost 5 million homes, or around 25 per cent more than Alberta’s current peak system load. 
  • Municipalities receive millions in tax revenue from renewable energy projects. Vulcan County already generates 45 per cent of its total tax revenue from renewable energy and would earn another $3 million from the proposed Buffalo Plains wind project. 
  • The Alberta Market Surveillance Administrator’s latest report noted that renewable energy reduced prices for consumers.



Courtney Smith
Senior Communications Lead, Pembina Institute


Report: Zeroing In: Pathways to an affordable net-zero grid in Alberta
Blog: Alberta’s Renewable Energy Advantage
Infographic: Economic Benefits of a Clean Grid

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